Big Data and the Moneyball Moment in Data-Driven Talent Acquisition

Aug 15, 2014

Big Data has been permeating into the lexicon of every aspect of company strategy over the past few years, and 2013 proved to be the “Moneyball Moment,” as the spotlight turned to how data science is changing recruitment.

Last year brought recruitment managers a suite of data-driven panaceas, from semantic search to predictive analytics, along with a host of case studies analysing the effectiveness of calculated hiring decisions, such as Google’s now famous data-driven interview process.

So how is this cambrian explosion of “next-big-things” in Big Data hiring spilling over into 2014, and what talent acquisition strategies are coming into the spotlight?

A new Moneyball moment

The data on talent sourcing continues to push companies towards quality, particularly in attracting the holy grail of the 80 percent passive candidates with budget reshuffles increasingly focusing towards ‘employee referral’ tools, frequently identified as the “fastest, highest quality and lowest cost recruiting source.

The battle for quality talent is now pushing HR managers to focus on the candidate experience, and lessons from the marketing industry are now pushing companies to move beyond Big Data and towards analysing and improving how candidates perceive their brand.

The spotlight is now turning to a new Moneyball Moment – effective inbound recruitment.

Building the Brand

Employer branding is by no means a new concept, but it is emerging as the most effective strategy not only in talent sourcing, but in enhancing employee retention. Many recruitment businesses and agencies that have flirted with Big Data and transactional recruitment are shifting their focus back to where the value lies — in relationships.

A growing number of HR managers are taking heed, and taking relationship-building strategies into their one hands, though an inbound online hiring strategy. Inbound hiring processes’ share three (3) key steps:

  1. Attracting high quality talent with content that exposes your company’s vision and culture and communicate it through your careers site, video, blogs and social media
  2. Engaging passive visitors and convert them to applicants through effective calls-to-action and channels to connect directly with people at the company
  3. Hire better by analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of your sourcing strategy and by nurturing a growing relationship through continuous communicationThese three channels define inbound recruitment – a process of pulling in interested prospective candidates with relevant content, and creating lasting relationships through ongoing engagement.Sources

The success of inbound is primarily driven by career sites, which are en route to becoming the the most effective sourcing channel, and second only to referrals.

Analyzing the inbound hiring process

Effective career pages are responsible for more than half of what we see to be “inbound’ methods, with 40 percent of total external hires 2012 coming through career pages (24 percent) social media (3 percent), college and career fairs (7 percent), and direct applications (7 percent)

More company hires happen through applications directly from a company websites than than through ads on job boards, and yet a very small fraction of resources is dedicated to driving “inbound” through effective careers pages (spending on brand and websites average at less than 2 percent of HR budgets, and one-tenth of spending on job boards or referrals).

In light of the recent success and low cost of career site-driven strategies, it is not surprising that there is a growing number of companies publishing case studies that mirror strategies polished within inbound marketing and sales to in their data-driven talent acquistion.

The challenge HR managers now face is on how to develop the sourcing strategy that suits their firms’ specific hiring needs and culture – to analyze their own inbound hiring process, and to find the data and software that helps them optimize it – in time for inbound recruitment to make its mark.

This originally appeared on the Seed Jobs blog